Back in New Haven -- First Stop, Pepe's Pizza
It still feels unreal that I am back in New Haven. A Miami native, I never thought when I moved back down to Florida after law school that I would be back in New Haven, let alone walking around the law school again. It has been an unexpected, yet thrilling, surprise to be back again; this time, learning some of the mysteries of the admissions process as Director of Recruitment. Ok, it isn't much of a mystery anymore if you read the Admissions Blog, but it's still kind of cool to be on the other side of the process.
Being back in New Haven naturally meant heading for some pizza, which is one of the first things I did. Some of you are probably wondering, "what is all this hype about, it's just pizza after all." I too was one of the skeptics when I first arrived. My family is from Argentina, where they make fantastic pizza as a result of Italian immigration at the turn of the twentieth century, and I also spent a summer in Italy while in college (and, did I mention that one of my dad and sister's pastimes is to make homemade pizza in a special brick oven they bought specifically for that purpose?). So, when I first got here, I was all, "there's no way the pizza in New Haven will be that good."
But it is! It is not identical to what you might get in Italy or elsewhere, but it is just as good. For those of you who are interested in a bit of history, which I learned after I moved to New Haven, the pizza from New Haven is locally called apizza and is a type of Neapolitan pizza. It originated at Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana, which was founded in 1925 in Wooster Street (http://www.pepespizzeria.com/history.php). Apparently, Frank Sinatra used to send his driver from New York to bring back some New Haven pizza, but don't quote me on that, I merely read that on the internet.
I recently went back to Pepe's. It's been maybe seven or eight years since I was last there and it was even better than I remembered. My fiancé and I ordered half of a Fresh Tomato Pie, which is available only in the summer, and half with sausage. Both were delicious. The crust was perfectly crispy, yet not burnt. He liked it as much as I did and it was his first time there. I can't wait to try Pepe's famous clam pizza again and revisit both Sally's Apizza and Modern, after which I will confidently be able to once again participate in debates about which pizza is better.
For those of you who may still be skeptics or don't think it's that big of a deal, I encourage you to try New Haven apizza for yourself before you pass judgment.